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The case against Keano
While Roy Keane maintains his Stadium of Light exit was the fault of new Sunderland owner Ellis Short, a quick look at Roy’s track-record speaks for itself
Tony Cascarino, 05 Mar 2009
I noticed Roy Keane’s interview the other day, in which he explained how he hadn’t wanted to leave Sunderland, but felt it was impossible for him to continue because he hadn’t hit it off with the majority shareholder Ellis Short.
According to Roy, he’d blanked Short’s phone calls after they lost 4-1 at home to Bolton. Short eventually got through to him, asked him why he hadn’t been answering his phone, and said he wanted to be able to contact him whenever required. Roy said he ‘didn’t like his tone’, so he decided to quit.
When you think about it, it’s hardly outrageous that the owner of a football club should expect to be able to contact the manager. You should be contactable 24 hours a day, that’s part of the job. ‘Not liking his tone’ seems a fairly flimsy excuse for walking out the way he did. I suspect Roy was just sick of the job, and wanted a way out. Unfortunately in life, we all have to make compromises sometimes and meet people halfway, and Roy doesn’t seem to want to do that with anybody. You can’t treat the owner with that kind of contempt, and Short obviously thought ‘sod you, you’re not for me. I run this club and I’m entitled to ask hard questions’.
Roy took exception to Niall Quinn saying they ‘wanted the players to have smiles on their faces’, but I think he took it too literally. It was obvious towards the end that a lot of players were unhappy with his short fuse. I believe the players feared him, and there was a lot of conflict. George McCartney says that ‘under Roy, the lads were a bit disheartened’. Clive Clarke went further, saying that Roy was ‘going around booting chairs and throwing things.’ Knowing Roy, I don’t find that too difficult to believe. He doesn’t deal with people brilliantly, and the Clive Clarke remark was unbelievable. Clarke had a heart attack, which could have killed him, and Roy’s response to this was ‘I’m surprised they found one, you could never tell by the way he plays.’ You just don’t say that sort of thing.